According to NFCC’s Financial Literacy Survey, roughly 1 in 4 U.S. adults do not always pay their bills on time. Depending on where your business falls on the priority scale of all the monthly bills your customers receive, it is inevitable that many of your customers will make late payments, or even skip payments altogether. Here are four steps to better billing that will encourage your customers to pay you on time, or even early:
1. Offer convenience. A recent Pew survey reported that nearly three in ten adults say the most common way to they take care of their regular monthly bills is by an online or electronic payment. Furthermore, the Federal Reserve has found that roughly one-third of consumers and three-quarters of businesses express willingness to pay a fee for payments that have faster availability to the payee. The best way to cater to this need is to implement an online invoicing and payment process. An automated billing system not only gives your customers easy access to their bills and the ability to pay, but can also be set to send your customers friendly email and SMS reminders.
2. Communicate a clear and colorful call to action (CTA). Adding color to messages can increase engagement rates by up to 42%. Additionally, color can aid in improving your customers’ memory. Studies have proven that color can help people process and store images more efficiently than black and white. By adding color to your CTA, customers are far more likely to engage and pay their bills. Try orange or another bright color! According to QuickSprout, orange CTAs boost conversion rates by about 32.5%, and red CTAs boost conversion rates by about 21%.
The CTA should be eye-catching so your customers are compelled to read it and act. When you clearly state exactly what you want your customer to do, it eliminates guesswork and encourages action.
3. Be consistent. Consistency is key to your customers knowing exactly where to find their balance each time they receive their bills. Online and printed bills should be identical, making it easy for your customer to quickly scan their bill to find how much they owe and when they need to make their next payment.
4. Utilize Incentives. Try positively incentivizing customers to pay you early. Incentives might include a 1 to 2 percent discount if payment is received within a specific timeframe. Early payment rewards work particularly well for companies you are billing that have a separate accounts payable department. In fact, they tend to cut checks first when they see incentives for early payments.
To learn more about how to optimize your billing and increase the amount of on-time and early customer payments, contact Lanvera today.
Spotify’s multicontinental out-of-home (OOH) advertising campaign rollout this week is both hilarious and creative. The worldwide music services conglomerate utilized aggregate and individual listener data from 2016 to create personalized and segmented messages for display in high traffic areas across the world. Here are a couple of messages that made us laugh:
“Dear 3,949 people who streamed ‘It’s the End of the World as We Know it’ the day of the Brexit vote, hang in there.”
“Dear person who played ‘Sorry’ 42 times on Valentine’s Day, What did you do?”
“To the person in NoLIta who started listening to holiday music way back in June, you really jingle all the way, huh?”
According to an interview between Creativity-online.com and Spotify CMO Seth Farbman, the idea for the data-driven campaign originated with 2015’s end-of-the-year “Year in Music” campaign, which revealed that data from listeners in different geographical areas reflected culture through listener behavior.
“There has been some debate about whether big data is muting creativity in marketing, but we have turned that on its head,” Farbman said. “For us, data inspires and gives an insight into the emotion that people are expressing.”
While many OOH advertising campaigns are successful in driving new business, they can be pricey. The good news is that you can take a page out of Spotify’s book and combine it with outreach efforts to your current customer base without breaking the bank. The end result? Deeper customer relationships and higher margins.
Enter statement advertising. Customers receive print and/or electronic statements each month, which gives you the chance to connect with them on a whole new level. Based on what we have seen with the quick success of Spotify’s campaign and our own statement advertising expertise, here are a couple of tips to help you effectively advertise on monthly customer statements:
1. Put customer data to use. Sixty-four percent of marketing executives “strongly agree” that data-driven marketing is crucial to success in a hypercompetitive global economy. Spotify did an excellent job of using both aggregate and individual data to create their campaign. Not all customers are created equal, and data will reflect that. You have a much better chance of standing apart from all of the usual communications your customer receives on a daily basis by presenting them with messaging that is targeted specifically to their needs.
2. Be creative. You’ve gotten a customer’s attention- now it’s time to keep it. Spotify combined quick, witty text with colorful billboards. Simple, yet extremely effective. In a statement advertisement, the use of color combined with the right words and a strong call to action can do wonders.
3. Connect with your customers on an emotional level. Spotify definitely hit the nail on the head and mainly focused on humor in their campaign. From a psychological perspective, when humans feel something, they think, “What can I make of this, what can I do about this?” Those responses have dominance and lead us to a certain behavior – like clicking through to a mortgage application or sharing low auto loan rates on social media.
Data-driven communications are the future of advertising and marketing. Like Spotify, if you utilize data to personalize, be creative and connect emotionally, you will forge stronger customer relationships, increase retention rates and improve margins.
According to “Understanding Customers” by Ruby Newell-Legner, it can cost approximately 6 times more to attract a new member than to keep an existing one. Furthermore, Bain & Company reports that a 5% increase in member retention can increase profits up to 125%. These numbers alone reveal the necessity of a strong member retention program. Focusing on member retention will provide you with the engagement rates you desire, as well as a more favorable bottom line. Here are some tips to help you get started on increasing member engagement through cross-selling and upselling:
1. Utilize dynamic messaging to align communications with each member’s behaviors, needs and wants.
Dynamic messaging allows you to present strategic, real-time messages to specific target groups within your member base. From there, member-facing marketing space on digital and print statements, letters, notices, etc. is optimized to target account holders with products and services that best fit their needs. There are many ways to incorporate dynamic communications on specific customer criteria, including account balance, zip code, gender, or marital status, to name a few. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel in compiling data because you already have it, so why not not use it to increase member retention rates and your bottom line?
2. Paint a picture that emphasizes benefits rather than features.
Consider this: You are planning a trip to a tropical destination and looking for airline travel. Would you rather see messaging about the seat you will be sitting in, the seatbelt and the fact that you can recline during the flight? Or would you rather see messaging about being transported comfortably and safely to your tropical destination where you will be sitting on the beach and soaking up the sun with a beverage in your hand? I’ll take the latter with the benefits, please!
While this is Sales 101, I see credit unions (and other businesses, for that matter) get caught up in the functionality of their products and services rather than painting a picture that communicates the actual benefits to members. When formulating messaging, keep this quote in mind: “People don’t want to buy a quarter inch drill. They want a quarter inch hole,” -Theodore Levitt. Features do have a place in the sales cycle, but need to only be mentioned as differentiators once a member shows interest in a product or service.
For more tips on cross-selling and upselling, call our team at (972) 488-6400 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
For the past decade, moving to paperless communications has been at the forefront of most organizations’ minds. Not only is electronic delivery a customer expectation, it also benefits your business’ bottom line. In fact, a recent study estimates that moving from paper to electronic delivery of certain documents could reduce costs of producing communications by 36 percent. While it is not a new concept, the challenge still exists in accelerating eAdoption. Here are three secrets to driving paperless customer communications:
1.Provide Consistency in Electronic Document Formatting
Many third party software packages generally provide a rudimentary print layout of a document for use electronic use, thus creating a stale, unfriendly document that does not match the printed, often legal, version. This creates customer reluctance in moving to electronic delivery because the same document presented in different formats for print and electronic can be confusing.
A successful electronic conversion includes providing an exact replica electronically that is offered in print and mail. A very important reason to offer online statements in the same format as printed is to provide the institution’s customers with a true legal document online rather than a home banking transaction printout. Because most customers require a legal version of their documents in the event of a loan application or tax audit, offering the statement in the same format will encourage eAdoption.
2.Rethink Print Default
Many organizations still have print documents as the default option on new accounts. When customers are not made aware that they can make the switch to paperless, they assume print and mail is what will serve them best. For statements and other documents that aren’t necessarily required to be sent via snail mail, a good option is to set electronic delivery as the default option on new accounts.
“When we switched cores in 2009, we made a big push toward eAdoption on new accounts opened by setting the default statement option to electronic,” said Sandy Gaskamp, Operations Support Manager at University Federal Credit Union. “We now have an 86% eAdoption rate with over 205,000 members, and they all seem to be enjoying the advantages of going paperless.” This not only enhances the customer experience, but also saves on print production and postage costs. In order to meet regulatory stands, be sure to communicate the default option with new account holders so they can verify it as the option they desire.
3.Offer More Outside of Online Banking
Online banking has been widely implemented in financial institutions to provide customers with easier access to accounts in order to alleviate traditional in-person transactions and decrease print and mail costs. However, due to the lack of eAdoption, the ROI on online banking platforms alone has not been as high as originally anticipated. Typically, it is difficult to convert non-transactional customers to electronic documents due to the perception that they do not need to access online banking to manage a daily balance or transfer money. Translation: One cannot live by online banking alone.
Your business’ website coupled with a mobile-responsive ePresentment platform can work wonders for eAdoption rates. If an electronic document can be accessed and viewed securely from your website without going through online banking, the potential audience for eStatements and other electronic documents increases beyond online banking users because customers then do not have to remember a login or sign up for online banking in order to switch to digital document delivery. By providing a direct access point to electronic documents, the overall customer experience is heightened. Additionally, if you are being charged by your provider for each online banking user, the users who opt out of paper documents through ePresentment are less costly.
Customers also desire a central location to access all account documents including notices, loan coupons and tax forms. If your business can support electronic documents, including eStatements, eNotices, eLoan Coupons and eTax Forms, your customer has the option to receive all communications electronically, which is a win-win scenario.
By giving your customers the opportunity to access more of their documents online, you can begin the conversion toward providing total comprehensive electronic services. It is important to remember that the customer is looking for at least as much value as they receive from a printed document.
To read more strategies on driving paperless communication, access our white paper.
Loan servicing professionals are perpetually experiencing regulatory changes while trying to balance portfolios. The “do more with less” mentality in the industry has sent loan servicers on the search for ways to increase their profit per loan.
Here are two ways to expand the value of your portfolio this year:
1. SEGMENT MARKETING
In segment marketing, a borrower base is divided into groups of individuals that are similar in specific ways relevant to customer attributes such as age, gender, interests, spending habits, etc. According to MailChimp, segmented email campaigns receive 14.72% more opens and 62.84% more clicks than non-segmented campaigns. What does this mean for your portfolio? Borrowers are more receptive to information that is specific to them.
Lanvera helps increase revenues by providing the ability for our clients to sell affiliate marketing space to businesses that offer services similar to borrowers’ needs. Segment affiliate marketing in borrower-critical document delivery can be applied multiple ways:
The benefits of personalized marketing are enormous to both borrowers and servicers and can impact profit per loan significantly. As a partner, Lanvera helps to maximize borrower communications through segment marketing, resulting in improved ROI and higher eAdoption rates.
2. DYNAMIC MESSAGING
Dynamic Messaging allows you to present strategic messaging to all borrowers or a specific target group and use consumer-facing marketing space by targeting account holders with products and services that best fit their needs. There are many ways to incorporate dynamic communications on specific borrower criteria, including account balance, zip code, gender, or marital status, to name a few. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel in compiling data because you already have it. Why not use it to increase your bottom line?
Here are some tips on harnessing the power of dynamic messaging on borrower-facing digital and print communications:
Business-critical documents are an important component of your customer communications.
As face-to-face customer interactions decline, documents such as statements and bills are quickly becoming the primary line of communication between your business and your customers. If designed and delivered properly, they have the ability to influence customer behavior, drive sales efforts and increase brand loyalty. That said, here are three common problems that may be hindering your business-critical documents:
Problem: Poor Document Design
Delivering poorly designed documents can damage your bottom line. Some examples of this damage include unnecessary customer service calls, low electronic adoption rates, customer frustration, lost marketing opportunities and poor corporate image.
Solution: Optimize for Readability and Production
By designing documents that are optimized for readability and print production, you remedy many of these issues, create easier to understand documents, and increase customer satisfaction. Formatting with tables, summaries and bolded headers makes documents easier to read and understand; and utilizing duplex printing, eliminating white space and consolidating numerous documents into a single envelope will lower production costs.
Problem: Codes and Jargon
Including codes, jargon and information that is confusing for the general public is a common customer communications mistake. When documents are optimized for the average person, as opposed to a processing machine or insurance company, document readability and customer satisfaction will significantly increase.
Solution: Simplify and Eliminate
Try using simple sentences and common words, while eliminating codes and industry jargon. A good way to benchmark if your statement has been simplified is to ask if the information serves a purpose, helps a customer reach a conclusion, or requires a direct action. Everything else can be eliminated.
Problem: Black and White
According to CCICOLOR - Institute for Color Research, the average person makes a subconscious judgement about a product, another person, or the environment within 90 seconds. Between 62% and 90% of that judgement is based on color alone. Based on those statistics, it’s fair to say color is a key factor in marketing. However, there are many organizations that still do not leverage color in all branded materials- namely business-critical documents.
Solution: Full Color Print
A consistent set of colors expresses thoughts without words and influences audiences. If you want to up the ante on your brand’s document marketing and watch your ROI increase, start incorporating more color into your documents.
For more information on how you can improve your business-critical documents by incorporating optimized document design, click here to contact us.
Optimizing your business critical communications doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. A best practice is to implement standardized document templates that can help your business improve brand consistency, eliminate unnecessary costs, reduce errors, and incorporate personalized marketing messages into designated areas of the documents.
Utilizing templates for all your customer-facing communications can improve your ROI by:
1. Eliminating Unnecessary Costs
The impact of poorly designed documents on your print operations is much larger than you may think. Increased postage on heavy envelopes or documents that take up many pages, excessive paper consumption, and redundant postage costs accumulating by sending numerous documents to a single household, frequently arise as a result.
To combat this postage increase, you can create standardized workflow templates that allow you to utilize duplex printing to decrease page counts, use re-pagination to increase lines per page and control line spacing, eliminate wasted white space, and practice householding, which is the consolidation of numerous documents meant for one residency into a single envelope. All of these practices will lower production and postage costs and increase efficiency.
2. Reducing Errors
Before a template is released to the production process, it goes through several tests in different platforms and conditions in order to eliminate programming bugs. By utilizing standardized templates, for all customer communications, the potential for errors is significantly decreased.
3. Improving Readability
Without the use of standardized templates, unexpected collateral damage can occur. From unnecessary customer service calls and low electronic adoption rates to customer frustration and poor corporate image, the repercussions can trickle down to almost every element of your business.
Standardized templates can provide documents with a consistent user-friendly design. By formatting your documents with tables, shading, summaries and bolded headers, you make documents easier to read and understand, increase customer satisfaction, and improve the overall impact of your documents.
Templates make the entire document lifecycles easier and faster, and will significantly improve the ROI on your document processing operations. Contact us today to find out about our document creation templates and how Lanvera can help you optimize your documents for production, readability and marketing.
Businesses that manage print and mail in-house might not consider the true costs involved. Materials, consumables, operations, IT support, full postage, and other related expenses easily reach 3% of a business’ total operating budget (which also tends to be roughly the same amount of budget allotted to an entire IT department).
50% of a business’ print and mail operating budget is used for support initiatives. Additionally, 50% of the budget spent on support initiatives often ends up with the IT department. After all, support initiatives include more than just maintenance, consumables, operations, and postage. Calls to the help desk for printer jams, "out of toner" messages and broken machines are adding to the cost of running these devices. Service calls for devices without a managed print service arrangement in place can easily cost more than $100 per call, when factoring in downtime for all employees involved in the fix, and the ones delayed in the first place.
Customer relations and labor can be a hard hit to a business’ bottom line. A 2016 survey by Bell and Howell of print and mail professionals on operational downtime cites that 61 percent of respondents reported average downtime duration lasting between two to six hours, while 13 percent reported more than 12 hours per incident. The survey also reported that two of the top concerns executives have related to print and mail operational downtime are customer satisfaction and excess labor costs.
The costs and issues associated with in-house print and mail operations can be frustrating. Because the majority of businesses do not operate within the print and mail business, these costs are not related to revenue-generating operations, but are simply a cost of business; they become even more frustrating.
While executives have considered the negative impact of operating an in-house print shop to be essentially unavoidable, the advent of cloud-based connectivity solutions has made managed print, or outsourced print more effective, cost efficient, and secure than ever before. As a result, many businesses are evaluating solutions that would reduce not only these operational downtimes, but also reduce costs in other ways.
If your document processing and delivery is performed in-house, here are some questions you can ask yourself to gauge how much you are really spending:
1. What is the annual maintenance for document composition software? The upfront costs of document composition software are expensive. Tack on annual or bi-annual software updates, and your business will find itself either spending more money to stay on pace with the ever-changing technological landscape, or fall behind the curve.
2. How much space is dedicated to the print operations? This includes printers and warehouse space for consumables, as well as printed documents that are being stored before mailing.
3. How much do you pay for parts, maintenance and consumables? Printers handling high volumes of documents require regular maintenance, as well as replacement parts. Toner and paper, are, of course, the core consumables to consider when producing paper documents.
4. How many employees are you using to format documents, run printers, insert and mail documents, and manage return mail? Time and manpower will yield a significant impact on your business’ cash flow.
Research has suggested that the document outsourcing market is expected to grow by 4.1% over the next three years. This is because businesses are realizing the substantial savings potential – often as much as 20-30% annually as compared to total, current-state in-house print spends. If your company handles large amounts of printing in-house, outsourcing is a viable option. This option will free your business of the capital expenditures required to procure and maintain printing hardware and consumables, as well as thecapital required to staff such an on-site print shop. Outsourcing print is the way that businesses not in the print and mail business, can stay out of the print and mail business, and remain firmly focused on their core, revenue-generating work.
Lanvera has over 30 years of experience in delivering best-in-class document design, processing and multi-channel delivery. Call us today to discover how we can not only satisfy your print and mail needs, but also your digital delivery needs.
With the ushering in of a new President of the United States tomorrow, it’s time to reevaluate your current processes and determine if it’s time to inaugurate a new document services vendor.
Ninety percent of companies worldwide reported that outsourcing is an important part of their overall business strategy, according to The Outsourcing Revolution. When the right document services vendor is chosen as an outsourcing partner, a company can benefit from improved efficiency, reduced costs and streamlined operations. Outsourcing document production and delivery to a vendor that does not just duplicate current efforts, but instead understands the importance of process improvements and staying ahead of the technological curve, is vital to an organization’s success.
We realize a change in vendors can seem like a daunting task. Many risk-averse professionals will keep a sub-par vendor around for much longer than they should, fearing the potential time and resources necessary for implementation- regardless of if a new vendor will better align with their strategic needs. But instead of living in a reactionary bubble, what if you had some tools to help you decipher if a new vendor is worth the transition?
If you are looking to inaugurate a new document services vendor, beware of the fact that many vendors may tell you they offer the whole package, but then end up falling short on their promises during and after the implementation process. Here are five questions to ask in the vetting process that will help you uncover the truth in a vendor’s capabilities and ensure a smooth vendor transition:
1. What security certifications/qualifications do they uphold? In order to avoid data breaches and risk compliance, document services providers should be SSAE 16 and SOC II, Type 2 Certified. For the healthcare industry, HIPAA Compliance is also required.
2. Do they offer a comprehensive solution? Utilizing a single partner for the design, composition and multi-channel delivery of all your documents and communications benefits your organization by ensuring consistency throughout all document channels and formats. A comprehensive, single-vendor solution will help you save time and money by increasing eAdoption rates, reducing call center costs, offering solutions to identify new revenue opportunities, and providing you with large volume discounts.
3. Do they have high standards of quality control? Quality control is of utmost importance in the design, processing and delivery of business-critical documents. A vendor that has multiple checkpoints throughout the document lifecycle including mail scanning, 2D barcodes on each page of every document and unique Intelligent Mail Barcodes (IMB) will ensure each document is sent to the correct recipient at the right time.
4. What kind of support will they provide? The most successful document services providers are consultative in their approach and identify ways to solve complex business problems. Look for a vendor that employs only PMP Certified project managers, as well as seasoned client services managers who can lend industry expertise and best practices.
5. Do they continually invest in the most updated software and equipment? A good document services vendor will be heavily invested in technology, leading the way in new applications that serve and benefit your customers while creating operational efficiencies.
Is it time to inaugurate a new document services vendor? Contact us today to learn the latest trends and solutions in business-critical data delivery.
Dynamic brand management can be challenging, specifically as it relates to customer communications and documents. Uniformity across all documents cultivates your brand identity and how your overarching brand is perceived by current and future customers.
However, most parent-child organizations are faced with the need to individualize each brand while maintaining a consistent global message. Take a look at your various branded statements and documents. Are you struggling with creating an overarching brand identity while simultaneously crafting individually branded messaging? Creating unique brand identities that are still consistently connected with a parent brand is not an easy undertaking, especially with a brand that prints and delivers high volumes of documents and needs each document to convey that similarity, yet uniqueness.
Below are our top 3 strategies that can help your business manage individual brand identities and create customer documents that keep your overarching brand image consistent.
1. Use Standardized Templates
Ensure brand consistency and increase document efficiency by utilizing templates that are customizable through the ability to change graphics and specific information. Templates significantly reduce the time it takes to develop and optimize individual statements and invoices while simplifying the process of creating new documents.
Automated business rules enhance this process by replacing the manual steps involved in the changing of individual brand logos within templates, offering huge benefits for parent companies that manage multiple brands. Simply set rules and requirements for changes, and automated software will render the correct logo and contact information while maintaining the overarching brand’s information.
2. Implement a User-Friendly Change Management Process
A platform that allows for quick and easy change management is beneficial to any company, particularly ones that manage multiple brands. Whether processing a statement, notice, invoice or letter, self-service change management that provides the ability to change specific elements within a document is critical.
3. Streamline Operations
To achieve the lowest production and delivery costs and create a highly reliable production environment, total automation is essential. Automated processes eliminate human touch points and dramatically reduce chances of error.
An intelligent processing operation allows for consolidation of files into one large database that are then parsed, segmented and produced in one print process. This system is perfect for parent-child organizations because it significantly lowers costs, reduces production time and eliminates the need for individual print facilities for each brand.
These 3 strategies will help your business differentiate statements across multiple brands and better optimize operations while keeping your brand consistent with your overarching identity. If you’re not sure how to bring these techniques to life, we’re more than happy to help! Contact us today to learn more about how Lanvera’s capabilities can help you better manage separate brand identities.